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  • Tausif Mulla

Shortform App: an easy way to learn and generate ideas

Since the time I decided to turn into an educator from a marketer, one thing that I have made sure of is to keep learning. One common feedback that I've received after every completion of a module is that I bring creative ideas and relate to the subject with relevant examples from across the industries. My learners (both MBA and undergrads) often ask me "How do I keep myself updated?" My usual reply is "regular reading". The immediate response to this is "Oh we don't get time due to our busy schedule."

If my facial expressions could speak, it would have replied sarcastically "Yeah, right. We academicians have all the sweet time to learn" (pun intended).

Each one of us is surrounded by so much noise that things needing our focus are easily ignored.

As a business management faculty and a Ph.D. candidate, it is vital to keep oneself updated with current trends in the business world.

Today, information is produced at a colossal level than it did almost a decade ago, we still have the same amount of time as we did before. This thought inspired me to create this blog post.

Photo by Matthias Groeneveld from Pexels

In this post, I will share the secret (Duh!! no longer a secret now) to keep yourself updated even when you are busy.

Consider reading summaries of books and articles. Summaries cut through the fluff and are best for reading on-the-go. What’s not to love?

Subscribe to the Shortform application and thank me later.

Shortform is an application that provides summaries of non-fictional books and articles. According to Allen Cheng (the founder of Shortform) "Our mission is to make sense of the world’s information and make it actionable."

Instead of reading the whole book that might take anywhere between 5-6 hours or even a few days for you to complete, with the Shortform application you can learn in less than 10 minutes. Shortform not only summarizes the content for you but also makes the best ideas actionable. One might ask, "what's the difference between Shortform and Blinkist application? Here's how Shortform is positioned in the market as compared to its competitors.

Source: Shortform

Though I like both the applications, Shortform has been my preferred choice because 3 reasons:

1) Content curation and presentation


Shortform covers every chapter and the key idea that could be important to the reader. For instance, I recently learned a new concept called adaptive leadership by Alexander Grashow, Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky. From the summary of the book, I learned that there are two kinds of problems organizations face today:

  • Those with known solutions only require the application of existing knowledge and workflows to solve.

  • Those with unknown solutions require innovation, experimentation, and adaptation to survive.

  • Adaptive Leadership is marshaling people to tackle problems with unknown solutions and thrive while doing so.

Quality over quantity.

Being a start-up, it is growing but that team has taken a cautious call on quality over quantity of summaries and articles.

Respect towards readers' time

As Shortform is targeted towards people who have the excuse of not having time to learn, it respects the reader's time and provides only what is meaningful.

Brings clarity

A book author can take a long route to make a key point but in Shortform the big ideas are brought in front and center for better understanding and forceful, compelling logic.


Shortform not only provides summary but actionable activities that enable critical thinking.


Shortform caters to various disciplines from career, self-development, productivity, leadership, communication, and much more.

Source: Shortform App

Active community

Shortform has an active community that you can be a part of and engage. You can read other people's top tips on books you're or considering or reading, and get advice on your own problems.

2) Not only covers books but also articles

With Shortform, you not only learn from the bestseller books but also from insightful web articles from sources such as Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Economist, New York Times, Quartz, Bloomberg, and more. For instance, I recently learned from a web-article curated and summarized by Shortform - Why (and How) Amazon Created the Kindle and Changed the Book Industry Forever. It helped me understand that Amazon developed the Kindle and transformed itself and the book industry when Apple’s iTunes threatened Amazon’s CD sales. Amazon’s key decision to invent instead of copy is a lesson in handling #digital-disruption.

3) Affordable pricing

Another advantage of using Shortform is its affordable pricing. If you pay annually (I recommend an annual plan) it will cost you $9.50/mo (i.e AED 418.70) less than Netflix $13.99/mo (standard). For me, any day investment in knowledge is far better than spending on entertainment.

Don't go for my word but try it yourself. Shortform offers a 5-day free trial to all its features. Give a try to witness a surprising change in your learning. While you are here, why not subscribe to ScroogeMarketer? Happy learning

P.S: Reading the whole book is always advisable. This is my way of learning quickly and may not suit your learning style.

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